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Sweeping study finds 1,000 cases of sexual abuse in Swiss Catholic Church since 1950

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“What has been discovered is only the tip of the iceberg,” said the authors of the study. Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

More than 1,000 acts of sexual abuse have been perpetrated by Catholic clerics and members of the Order since 1950 in Switzerland, according to an analysis conducted by historians from the University of Zurich.

“What has been discovered is only the tip of the iceberg,” the university said in a statement on Tuesday. The 1,002 cases of abuse that emerged from the study of the secret archives of church institutions are, however, more numerous than those reported by the Church so far.

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The incidents detected concerned 510 offenders and 921 victims, who in 74% of cases were minors. With few exceptions, the crimes were committed by men; 54% of the victims were male.

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Until the 2000s, most of the violence had been ignored, concealed or downplayed by Church leaders, according to the statement. The reactions of the religious institution began to change at the turn of this century.

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. You can find them here

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR